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which upgrade path from woody?

I'm about to upgrade my woody system to eather testing or unstable
(probably unstable, because I gather that temporarily broken package
dependencies don'e cause as much mass deletion and restoration of
entire suites of packages there)  Please correct me if I am wrong on
any of these details.

I plan to preserve my existing woody, because I use it for essential
system management of my Windows ME system on the same machine.
Given the number of times I have to restore the C: partition from backup
it would be a disaster if I were to be unable to access the Linux
system for any reason for even just a day (especially if it was the wrong
day, anyway)

I gather that the installation/upgrade situation has changes somewhat over
the last half year.  I've thought of the following approaches.  WHich, if
any, do you recommend?

(1) Get a copy of the new installer, and use it to replace my Mandrake
partition (which I haven't used in months, and isn't even on my boot menu)
with a new installation of Debian.  This would probably recogise all my
devices correctly.  Currently I am unable to access any of the
3D features of my ATI Raden 8500DV.  The drivers I got from ATI just
wouldn't work.  I heard that the newsest XFree stuff has started to properly
support the card, though.  I also don't yet have sound installed.

(2) Copy the entire Debain woody partition, replacing the Mandrake partition,
adjusting .etc.fstab o the new partition so it points to itself, adding the copy as an additional entry to lilo.conf, making /home symlink to the existing
/home on the old woody, booting into the new copy and doing a dist-upgrade.
Presumably I'd still have to wrestle with sound and 3D-acceleration issues.
I suspet dist-upgrade won't do this for me.

(3) there's probably abother approach I can't think of,

-- hendrik

P.S. Other related questions:

I heard a long time ago that the reiser file system couldn't handle
some special files, such as Hene i've avoided using it for my root partition.
the ones in /dev.  Is this still a problem
in sarge or testing?  Is it a problem in woody?

Are there any issues in sharing a reiser partition between woody and sargs?
Are there version incompatibilities that will kill me if I' not careful?

-- hendrik

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